Colorado legislature passes in-state tuition bill
Posted: May 27, 2008
More Colorado students will now be eligible for in-state tuition with the passing of Senate Bill 79. The bill allows U.S. citizens who have graduated from a Colorado high school - but who can't prove their parents’ residency status - to be considered residents for the purpose of in-state tuition.
"The passing of this bill helps to eliminate a barrier to education for our most vulnerable students," says Metropolitan State College of Denver President Stephen Jordan. "It provides opportunities for those students whose lives are disrupted by circumstances beyond their control, such as death or the divorce of a parent.
"This is a monumental step to help those students seeking a college education to improve their earning potential and their capacity to contribute to society. It also creates an incentive for all students to graduate from high school."
Metro State worked with the bill's co-sponsors Sen. Paula Sandoval (D-Denver) and Rep. Tom Massey (R-Poncha Springs) on the original language of the bill, which sought to clarify the definition of in-state tuition as interpreted under House Bill 1023. That bill was signed into law on August 1, 2006.
On Jan. 30, 2008, Jordan testified before the Colorado Legislature's State, Veteran and Military Affairs Committee in support of SB 79.
"One of the reasons we went this way on the legislation is that I reviewed a number of applications that were in this very difficult category and made individual decisions on them myself because the admission staff were unsure if they (the student) met the criteria or not," Jordan says. "That's when I began to understand these other issues, like students in foster care, who fall into this category."
Metro State is a fully-accredited, four-year institution, serving more than 21,000 students. It has the second-largest undergraduate enrollment in Colorado and is one of the largest four-year public colleges in the nation. Metro State enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 60,000 alumni, 90 percent of whom stay in Colorado after graduation. Visit Metro State at www.mscd.edu.